The co-main event of UFC Fight Night 75 is an intriguing middleweight contest between Gegard Mousasi and Uriah Hall. Mousasi is a longtime veteran of the sport that has competed for numerous organizations over the years, including Pride, Strikeforce, Dream, and now the UFC. Hall, meanwhile, has had mixed results since the start of his career. While Mousasi has beaten Ilir Latifi, Mark Munoz, and Dan Henderson in his UFC stint. His counterpart, Hall, holds wins the less notable Chris Leben, Thiago Santos, and Ron Stallings. Gegard Mousasi (37-5-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC, -470 favorite) It is quite amazing that Mousasi has 44 fights in his career and he is only 30 years old. He is a former Srikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion and has found success in whatever organization he has fought for. Outside the UFC, Mousasi picked up wins over Jacare Souza, Ovince Saint Preux and Hector Lombard. Gegard is a very technical striker that actually has an amateur boxing and kickboxing record. Sharp jab-right cross combinations are the order of the day and he does them with flawless technique. Further, he is excellent at maintaining range by pumping his jab over and over. The one knock on Mousasi’s standup is that he is a tad slow and has trouble dealing with fighters that are quicker than him. In previous years the knock on Mousasi has been his poor takedown takedown defense. However, he has tightened that up in recent years and only elite wrestlers and grapplers are able to take him to the canvas. When Mousasi does get put on his back he is very dangerous with submissions and upkicks. From top position he is a slick guard passer and has a vast array of topside submissions. The problem with “The Dreamcatcher” seems to be that he will beat most fighters but will come up short against the very elite competitors in the division. Uriah Hall (11-5 MMA, 4-3 UFC, +375 underdog) Hall came up on the regional MMA circuit alongside a guy you may have heard of, Chris Weidman. The two actually faced each other at a Ring of Combat promotion in New Jersey, with Weidman winning by technical knockout. After putting together some solid wins, Hall was chosen to be a competitor on season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter, which is where he made his mark. He made a huge impression on fans when he knocked out Adam Cella in the opening round of the tournament with a spinning hook kick. That was one of the best knockouts in the UFC history, even though it wasn’t against the greatest competition. While he lost in the finals to Kelvin Gastelum, he still managed to earn himself a UFC contract. His career has been up and down since then; mostly beating low to mid-level fighters and losing to the better fighters he has faced. Hall came from a high-level martial arts background, including karate and taekwondo. He utilizes a lot of flashy kicks and punches that rarely work, but when they do, they are usually fight ending blows. One of Hall’s main criticisms has been is that he is not a “real fighter” and does not have the killer instinct that most elite fighters have. Uriah actually apologized to Chris Leben after hurting him in their fight. If he ever wants to get to the top, he will need to find the killer instinct that most elite fighters have. Some of his fights have looked like sparring matches, which did not exactly make Dana White or the fans in attendance happy. We have not seen much from Hall’s ground game, as he usually prefers to stand and trade with his opponents. His takedown defense is average at best and has very little to offer from his back. Offensively, he has a decent double-leg takedown but is not an adept guard passer or submission threat. It should be noted that Hall is an exceptional athlete, even though he may not show it at times. Thoughts Mousasi is the far more experienced and well-rounded fighter in this matchup. He has very crisp striking, including a terrific jab and straight right. He also has really improved his wrestling and top control in recent years. Further, his submission game is deadly, and that is how I see him winning this fight. Hall is very dangerous and can end a fight with a single blow, but he hasn’t added any other significant elements to his game. I see Mousasi winning a clear decision or a locking in a choke of some kind before the final bell. The Prediction: Gegard Mousasi defeats Uriah Hall by submission (round 2)
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